Fraud Protection Unit Established in New York
The Social Security Administration has established a centralized fraud prevention unit in New York City to identify potential fraud and detect fraud trends that are applicable to disability cases nationwide. This unit consists of experienced disability examiners who are currently involved in the review of disability medical decisions. Using their specialized experience, these examiners are collaborating with Social Security systems personnel to help build data analytics to detect and prevent fraud as early as possible in the disability decision-making process.
“Social Security strives to preserve the public’s trust in our programs and we have no tolerance for fraud. We are aggressive in our efforts to detect and prevent fraud,” said Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin, noting that Social Security’s anti-fraud approach has resulted in a fraud incidence rate that is a fraction of one percent. “To those who would try to cheat us: We will find you; we will prosecute you; we will seek the maximum punishment allowable under the law; and we will fight to recover any money you’ve stolen from the American people.”
Learn more by reading the press release at www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/2014/fraud-prevention-unit-pr.html.
We’re Accessible To Everyone
Not only does Social Security provide disability benefits for people who qualify, but we make great efforts to communicate with people in alternative formats to make our resources and services accessible to everyone. We are committed to providing world-class customer service to everyone and to ensuring that people with disabilities have meaningful access to our programs and services.
We are pleased to build on this commitment with the Center for Section 504 Compliance. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits federal agencies and programs that receive federal funding from discriminating against individuals with disabilities.
The 504 Center's toll-free number is 1-844-881-9061 and its business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except federal holidays).
In addition, we offer our publications and notices in alternative formats for those who request them. The most popular ways for the public to read our publications is by PDF and streaming audio file at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. However, the public also can request our publications in Braille, audio cassette tape, audio CD, or enlarged print at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/alt-pubs.html.
Learn about our special notice options at www.socialsecurity.gov/notices.
Visit the 504 Center online at www.socialsecurity.gov/accessibility/504_overview.html.
A New Website for Young People
Most people tend to associate Social Security with retirement. But consider this: at the end of 2013, about 3.2 million minor children received an average monthly benefit of $534 because one or both of their parents were disabled, retired, or deceased. Social Security protects young people even if they never worked.
For young people who do work, they are a part of the Social Security story as well, paying Social Security tax and protecting their own future in the event of disability, death, or retirement.
We have a new web page devoted to youth. With sections focused on students, young workers, and saving for retirement, it is packed with information useful to young people from students to career-starters. There’s even a video that explains the basics of what Social Security has to offer.
Tell the young people you know to visit www.socialsecurity.gov/youngpeople.
IRS Warns of Telephone Scam
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns consumers to guard against sophisticated and aggressive phone scams targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, as reported incidents of this crime continues to rise nationwide.
The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card, or prepaid card information over the telephone.
Potential victims may be told they are entitled to big refunds, or that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
- If you think or know you owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040.
- If you think or know you don’t taxes or never received a written notification from IRS, then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
- If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at www.FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
If you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS and asking for your information, do not open any attachments or reply. Instead, forward the email or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more at www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Reiterates-Warning-of-Pervasive-Telephone-Scam.
A Social Security Pioneer’s 100th Birthday
From 1962 to 1973, Robert M. Ball served as Commissioner of Social Security. But that was just one of his many contributions to Social Security. He began working for the agency in 1939. Until his death in 2008, Bob Ball worked to promote and protect Social Security and Medicare. If alive today, Bob Ball would celebrate his 100th birthday.
“The thing that has appealed to me most about the program is that it supplies a continuing income to groups who without it would be most susceptible to poverty,” Ball said. “Yet, it does this through their own effort—the protection grows out of the work they do and contributions they make. I've always been glad I made the choice of career I did.”
Celebrate this Social Security pioneer’s 100th birthday with a visit to our History Page at www.socialsecurity.gov/history/bobball.html.